St. Joseph's House is a licensed 501(c)(3) family daycare* serving school-aged youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ages 5-21) and their families.
We provide a loving, home-away-from-home environment for the children in our care, enabling parents to work and take opportunities for respite. At St. Joseph’s House, all different abilities are recognized and honored; each child is celebrated for the tremendous gifts he/she brings to our home and our world. "SJH kids" flourish in our tight-knit community, growing in friendship with one another through our various activities - games, crafts, field trips, outdoor play, music - and simply sharing daily life together.
The families of St. Joseph’s House often face daunting circumstances and navigate complex systems. They find invaluable support and steadfast friendship in one another as their children grow with us through the years. As they are able, families contribute a nominal fee for all our services.
Relying almost entirely on the support of private donors and small foundations, St. Joseph's House has served more than 60 families since opening its doors in 1983.
*St. Joseph's House is licensed by the Maryland State Department of Education Office of Childcare
Board of Directors
Bridget Higginbotham, President
Hugh Vivian, Treasurer
Katie Davern, Secretary
While expecting the LaHoods' first child, Cubby decided she wanted to stay home with their baby and made plans to establish a home-based daycare business. Given Cubby's long history of work with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the first client to approach her was a family seeking care for their child with a disability. Very quickly, other families learned that there was someone willing and able to take on the demanding task of caring for their precious children. Families who had been unable to find a day care that could serve their children began to call, and soon Cubby had several more children with disabilities in her care. In 1983, her work officially began.
In 1988, when the LaHoods were expecting their second child, they learned their baby had medical complications that were so extensive he likely would not live. Shortly after baby Francis’ birth and death, Dan decided to leave his job in the health care industry and stay home with Cubby to care for these special children. They realized that their son, had he lived, could have been just like the beautiful children whom they were caring for each day. Their devotion to their mission was solidified, and they renamed their ministry St. Joseph's House.
From the outside, St. Joseph’s House has always looked just like any other home, aside from the long wheelchair ramp leading to the door. The small wooden sign identifying St. Joseph’s House is in keeping with the calm simplicity that characterizes this organization. As their family grew over the years, Dan and Cubby raised their three living children, Joe, Mary Frances, and Johnny in this lovely home, where they worked together as a family to care for the children and families of St. Joseph's House.
Although they went about their work quietly without seeking notice for what they do, Cubby was honored for her work in 1995 by being named a Washingtonian Magazine “Washingtonian of the Year.” According to the magazine, it’s the “highest honor we bestow in our community to the people who make it a better place to live.” Day after day, year after year, St. Joseph's House has sought in its quiet way to make life better for the families it has welcomed into its own. Even the tragic diagnosis and progression of ovarian cancer for Cubby did not weaken her resolve or dampen her dedication. In fact, it brought her and the LaHoods closer to one another and deeper into the heart of their mission. Up until her last moments, when she died surrounded by her family on September 21, 2015, Cubby gave herself tirelessly to those who had been entrusted to her care.
Cubby had been overjoyed to learn several months before her death that her son Joe and his fiancee, Natalie, were discerning taking over St. Joseph's House. Dan and Cubby had long dreamed that somehow their mission would continue beyond their work together. Inspired by the joy of his upbringing, Joe had earned his Master's in Special Education and currently served as a 6th grade teacher. With a background in Theology and non-profit work, and extensive experience volunteering among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Natalie took over the role of executive director in early 2016. After their wedding a few months later, Natalie and Joe set out on the adventure of running the St. Joseph's House summer camp.
After 6 years of running St. Joseph's House programs out of Dan and Cubby's home in Silver Spring, MD, Natalie and Joe decided to relocate St. Joseph's House to their own home in Prince George's County, where they are raising their four young children. In June 2022, St. Joseph's House opened its doors in the wonderful community of Hyattsville, where the need for its services is largely unmet. They look forward to continuing to grow the St. Joseph's House family as they set down roots in Prince George's County.